Read Like a Lawyer (Ep. 338)

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Ben and Nathan take another dive into the listener mailbag and answer questions about law school admissions. Tune in to hear about an update to the LSAT Demon Scholarship Estimator, GPA addendum advice, a critique of JFK’s Harvard application essay, and more! Then, the guys discuss an undergraduate scholarship program that offers pre-law experience to minorities. Finally, they demonstrate how to “read like a lawyer” while dissecting a logical reasoning question from PrepTest 73.

As always, if you like the show and you want to get more from the Thinking LSAT community, check out the links below. You can connect with other folks studying for the LSAT and get more useful resources from Nathan and Ben.

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Important Dates

3.3.2022 — February LSAT scores released

3.11.2022 — March LSAT begins

3.16.2022 — April LSAT registration deadline

3.30.2022 — March LSAT scores released

4.27.2022 — June LSAT registration deadline

4.29.2022 — April LSAT begins

13:04 - Scholarship Estimator Update

Quick update on the LSAT Demon Scholarship Estimator. Including “more than full tuition” as a category may have been somewhat misleading. Scholarship recipients who receive additional funding from outside sources (such as G.I. Bill benefits) are often listed as receiving “more than full tuition” on 509 reports—even though some schools may not offer more-than-full scholarships. To avoid giving anyone potentially unrealistic expectations, the Estimator’s maximum scholarship predictions are now limited to “full tuition.”

18:01 - A 24-Point Score Increase

Listener James shares some exciting news. After nine months of studying, he improved his LSAT score from a diagnostic 148 to an official 172! The guys congratulate him on this (informally) awesome achievement. James says his biggest takeaway from studying is the fact that there are no tricks or shortcuts. The LSAT makes perfect sense—“you just have to figure it out.”

31:09 - Admissions Questions from a Former Therapist

After working as a respiratory therapist for 14 years, Leah is ready for a career change. She has decided to go to law school because she wants to push for a national union for healthcare workers. Ben and Nathan answer Leah’s questions about applying to multiple schools, writing a GPA addendum, and choosing a personal statement topic. They also encourage her to think carefully about whether a JD is really necessary for her to pursue her goals.

50:35 - Nathan Takes a Dig at the Team

Nathan analyzes some common phrases that Demon team members use when responding to assignments via email. Tune in to find out whether the bosses prefer “you got it,” “on it,” or “sounds good.”

55:35 - JFK’s Harvard Application Essay

Listener Victoria shares JFK’s Harvard application essay as a funny example of what not to do on a law school personal statement. The guys pick it apart and remind listeners what kinds of facts a personal statement should include.

1:00:09 - LSAC PLUS Program

The guys chat about LSAC PLUS. This undergraduate scholarship program is designed to give pre-law students from minority groups an opportunity to get a taste of the law school experience. Several law schools across the country host the program. Other benefits include stipends and LSAC fee waivers.

1:08:07 - Test 73, Section 4, Question 5

Nathan and Ben read and dissect the argument word by word—as a lawyer would—and debate the meaning of the word “biodiversity.” Before even reading the question, they’ve already identified weaknesses in the argument and are prepared to attack or defend it. It turns out to be a Conclusion question. Nathan notes that the conclusion is stated in the first sentence (after the comma). It’s an important reminder that the conclusion is not always stated last and is not always preceded by an indicator word. The best way to predict the answer to a Conclusion question is to understand what the argument is trying to prove. Try this question on LSAT Demon.